As I was getting there I was hearing on twitter and FB that everything was selling out. I was disappointed to find out that the shirt I wanted had sold out by noon and that I wouldn't be getting it after all. I snapped out of my sadness when Tim reminded me that I wasn't running this for a shirt. How true it was.
It was super crowded, so I didn't linger! I ran into Caitlyn, who also ran the marathon, in the expo and walked around with her for a little bit, and then I ran into Kat, who was running the half, and her husband as we were walking out. It was so much fun to see two friends randomly without planning it!
Thanks to Caitlyn for the pictures of the expo! I got tired and overwhelmed and didn't snap photos. She shared some with me.
I did do a little shopping though. There was a cotton purple "I did it!" shirt that I bought, and I got a few other things to commemorate the experience.
The yellow Team Sparkle skirt is for my Disney Princess costume that I'll be wearing in February at the Princess half! I'm already excited for that one. Disney knows how to put on some races!
We ate at Downtown Disney Friday and Saturday night, and while Saturday night's pasta was pretty good at Portobello, Friday night at Paradiso 37 was outstanding! We had a fantastic server, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was a lot of fun. If you're looking for somewhere to eat in Downtown Disney, head there. They have a mix of cuisines from North and South America, and I don't think you could go wrong. At least we didn't!
Since I'd been last a year and a half ago, Downtown Disney has opened a lot of new shops and restaurants. I was definitely a lot happier going there to eat than I had been previously.
Saturday we spent the whole day lounging around. It was super boring but totally necessary. We probably could have skipped coming on Friday, but I wanted the full Disney experience.
We stayed at Coronado Springs, which has a Southwestern and Mexican theme to it. It was huge and pretty noisy, but we got an unbeatable rate through Megan at Glass Slipper Concierge. (And for clarification, it wasn't because of my blog. It was just the rate she was able to offer.)
Mom went wandering at one point and came back with supplies to make signs. I was so excited! And it definitely helped me spot them at the Magic Kingdom when they were cheering.
Because Disney wants you to be in your corral by 5:00 am for the 5:30 am start, I laid my stuff out early and was in bed by 8:30 pm on Saturday night. I slept alright, but I kept waking up thinking that I heard people talking or that I was going to miss my alarm. I just wanted wakeup time to come!
I did have a bit of a panic the night before, but it didn't last long and I am pretty happy with the actual amount of freaking out and worrying I did right before the race.
I think I woke up too early, as I had a wakeup call at 2 am. Since I was already on property, I probably could have slept until 3 or so. I did end up getting on the 3:15 bus and was to the starting area by 3:40. It was definitely unnecessary, but for my first full marathon I was glad to be overly prepared and really early; it was much better than the late and panicking option. It also gave me a chance to go to the bathroom twice when there were no lines.
Me, pre-race in the hotel room. You can see the time in my eyes.
From the starting area, there's a 20 minute walk to the starting corrals. I met up with Caitlyn so we could walk over together. She had run two marathons in the last two months, so she wasn't as nervous as me. That took some of my edge off, as she wasn't freaking out like I was in my head. I had printed emails and paperwork with me and carried it to read over in the last little bit. After using the bathroom one last time on the walk to the corrals, I decided to chuck the papers and just go with how I felt and what I had planned before.
Caitlyn and I took a pre-race photo before parting ways to go to our corrals. We weren't planning to run the same paces, so we split a few minutes before the start.
Since I got to the start so early, it gave me time to walk to front third of my corral, find a place to sit, and do a little stretching. Looking back I wish I had gone all the way to the front of my corral, as I did a ton of weaving in the first two to three miles. I could have probably saved a bit of energy that I expended doing that.
I watched the interviews, saw the fireworks display for Corrals A and B, and then I waited for it to be my turn. I met another girl next to me who had also run the half the day before, and we chit chatted for a bit. We had similar thoughts on time, but I didn't want to commit at the start to running an entire race with someone I'd just me. I did end up running into her later, but more on that when the time comes.
Finally, at 5:48 am, it was my turn to start my marathon. The fireworks shot off, I started moving forward, and before I knew it I was crossing the starting line and waving goodbye to Mickey. This was it! This was the marathon I'd been working for since September. All that was left was the race.
And that's where I'll leave you for now. I'll share the heart of the story Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm still working through it.
Have you run a Disney race before? What is your favorite part? If not, do you have your eye on one as a goal race?